The Kickstarter campaign for Yashica’s digiFilm Y35 camera has produced a wave of complaints about delays in shipping product as well as cameras that don’t work. Running with the foreshadowing strapline ‘Expect the Unexpected,’ the campaign seems to be delivering on its promise to be unexpected by giving some of the 6935 backers exactly what they weren’t hoping for.
The campaign raised HK $10,035,296 (approx. $1,280,225) for the firm and promised a digital camera that you load with different ‘film cassettes’ that apply specific styles to the pictures. While a delivery date of April 2018 was given at the time of the launch many backers have yet to receive their cameras.
In the last update, on 18th September, the company explained that they are dealing with 38 different combinations of product, and that they were working hard to get orders completed by the end of the month. However, four weeks later the feedback section is 3900 comments long, and while some are complaining that their camera hasn’t arrived others say the shutter button doesn’t work or that the camera switches off unexpectedly.
One user who has received his camera tells those who haven’t to stop complaining, as the product is so bad they’ll be happier now than when it arrives.
The picture isn’t much brighter on Indiegogo where the project took the total raised to $1,515,695, as more investors are making the same complaints. The principle problem seems to be the lack of communication from the manufacturer that’s leaving customers in the dark about their cameras and their money.
This hasn’t been a good period for camera-related campaigns on crowd-funding sites, as this failure comes right after the collapse of Meyer Optik Gorlitz, and its associated brands, which left many photographers out of pocket and without the costly products they had backed.